Best OS9-capable Mac to purchase in 2008?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Kwill, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. Kwill macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    I have $1032 credit at Gain Saver because the optical drive on a used PB15 purchased earlier this year died. Since I opted for the 3-yr warranty, I can spend the credit and transfer the warranty to any of their current offerings.

    Instead of another PB15, I am considering the purchase of a G5 Dual 2.3GHz to replace a Power Mac G4. It's not portable but the G5 could become a more worthy Photoshop workstation.

    iMac 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo is currently the fastest machine on the network. A 1GHz AGP G4, 2GB RAM (broken FW connector; AP and EN T-10 bottlenecks) with ADC 23" Cinema Display is the slowest.

    On the eve of Snow Leopard, I would much rather purchase the latest Mac Pro. However there is a need to keep something capable of running Mac OS 9 or Classic around for backwards compatibility with old files. This means OS will not be upgraded beyond Tiger. My dilemma is with minimal cost, to purchase a PowerMac with as much usefulness as possible. Recommendations welcomed.

    Options considered:
    • PM G5 Dual 2.7GHz 8GB RAM, 750GB HD (M9749LL/A) @1835
      [*]PM G5 Dual 2.3GHz 8GB RAM, 750GB HD (M9748LL/A) @1565
    • PM G5 Dual 1.8GHz 8GB RAM, 750GB HD (M9454LL/A) @1405
    • PB15 G4 1.67GHz 2GB RAM, 250GB HD (M9969LL/A) @1215
    • PB15 G4 1.5GHz 2GB RAM, 250GB HD (M9422LL/A) @1114
    • iMac G5 20" 2.1GHz 2GB RAM, 750GB HD (MA064LL/A) @ $1095
    • PM G4 Dual 1.25GHz MDD 1.5GB RAM, 400GB HD (M8573LL/A) @ $1055
    • PM G4 992mhz, 400GB HD (M8361Ll/A) @ $446
      (use RAM from AGP; leaves considerable credit)
  2. tobyg macrumors 6502a

    Aug 31, 2004
    My recommendation would be to avoid anything that is liquid cooled. I can't remember if the 2.3 had liquid cooling, but the 2.7 does I believe. Definitely avoid anything with liquid cooling, as those have been leaking a lot lately, most just out of warranty.
  3. Cabbit macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2006
    I would recommend what may be a rather long and tedious task but it will become necessary as the years progress and that is to get all your files that will not work in modern applications and convert them to a more modern format preferability a open format like ODF for any office type documents as the number of OS9 capable machines is going to keep running low and this will end up cheeper in the long run as you will be able to buy modern hard ware that has a better total cost of ownership.
  4. Kwill thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    Thanks. Good advice and my reason for favoring the early-2005 2.3GHz This link indicates 2.7GHz has "LCS Heatsink."
  5. Kwill thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    Thanks. In some cases that recommendation is valid. Alas, I have thousands of old graphics files. (Theoretically, they could be updated for tens of thousands of dollars of man-hours.) Purchasing QX8 and last known OS X copy of FreeHand from Adobe is another option. However, there are also archived OS9 accounting records, taxes and custom applications to which periodic access is required.

    I envy people who where introduced to the Mac after OS X. ;)
  6. m1stake macrumors 68000

    Jan 17, 2008
  7. Kwill thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    Heard of it. Not a viable option. Repeating my original question, I am requesting advice on the best PowerMac. Thanks.
  8. bizzle macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2008
    I agree. If you can get away with using OS 9.0.4 instead of 9.2.2, Sheep Shaver will work perfectly for you. This option will also allow you to use Leopard and use almost any hardware you'd like. The other option would be using a more inexpensive machine such as a Quicksilver and use that for OS9 booting only.
  9. Kwill thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    This link helps puts things in perspective with stock processor and memory configurations.
    • G5 2.3GHz is 2x as fast as PB15 1.67GHz
    • G5 2.3GHz is 4x as fast as current PM G4 1GHz
    • iMac C2D 2.4GHz is 2x as fast as the G5 in OS X
      (but iMac doesn't run OS 9)
    The impressive Xeon numbers (over 4x faster than G5) sure make me want to sell some AAPL and get an 8-core system but I must focus on the task at hand. For about $600 over credited allowance, the G5 2.3GHz (with performance improvement from 8GB) appears to be best hardware solution for now.

    (Custom software incompatible with OS 9.0.4.)
  10. macosxguy macrumors newbie


    Sep 4, 2006
    London, England
    G5 Quad

    If you can't go Intel then the next best thing is the G5 Quad. It holds up really well against the early mac pros, but is left in the dust with the 8-core mac pros. That would be my recommendation since Snow Leopard's main feature is Multicore so you would be getting the most out of those processors. My friend has one at her school and it is used for rendering video and it is super fast. Go for the Quad.

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